Follow Up: 10 Things Girls Who Aren't Serving Missions Want You To Know

3:18 PM

Hello friends. I'm overwhelmed and humbled by the response I've gotten to this post. Most of the comments have been positive, but there has been some negative response. So I'm going to address some of the issues that have come forward, clear some things up once and for all so that the real purpose of my message can be the important part. I apologize if I've offended anyone, at all, for any reason. That was never, ever the intent of this message. The intent was to inform others of how so many are feeling, and to help change the culture we're currently in.

  • I wrote this article for a few reasons. I saw so many girls struggle with deciding whether or not to go on a mission. I myself struggled. I felt pressure from every side to serve, and I knew serving a mission would be wonderful. When I got the answer no, it was hard to trust in the Lord and follow what he had asked me to do, because of this pressure. I want other girls who are going through this to know they are not alone, to see the support that they can have, and know that if they choose to serve or not, there is a place for them and people who understand. 
  • Another reason why I wrote this article is to help those who aren't in this situation understand what these girls (and sometimes boys) are going through. It allows others to understand the situation, and to act accordingly. It helps them know what might hurt the feelings of others, and be as kind as possible so everyone feels they have a place in this gospel. 
  • I have been accused time and time again of being offended. I will openly admit, when I first received my answer about a mission and then heard some of the things people had to say, I was offended. That was months ago. I have since decided that I have no need to be. I am not angry, revengeful, self-serving, or offended. But there are some out there who are offended by what others say about missions. And there are others who are offensive in what they say. My goal is for everyone to be kinder, more understanding, and more Christ-like. 
  • I have also been accused of being insecure in my choice. I can assure you, if I was insecure in my decision, I would not call attention to myself in this way. I wrote this blog to help others who may be insecure in their decision know that there is help out there.
  • I have been told time and time again that being offended is a choice. I understand that, and with all the negative comments I've gotten from this post, I'm choosing not to be offended. But as much as not taking offense is a choice, so is not giving offense. My hope with this post is for everyone to understand what someone may take offense at, and to be careful with what they say so they don't give offense or choose to be offended. 
  • There are those who have said to choose not to serve a mission is selfish. This is not correct. In this situation, I received personal revelation. To not follow God's plan, to ignore his guidance for me, would be selfish. 
  • There are some who say there is no need for this post, that this isn't an issue. From the flood of responses I've gotten, it's obvious this is an issue. In our society right now, so many feel forgotten, pushed out, inferior. I want everyone to know there is a place for them in this gospel, whether they serve a mission or not. You can decide to ignore the issue, but it's real, and so many people feel it all across this church. 
  • I've been accused of too much censorship. I only publish comments that are respectful. If I didn't feel like something was respectful to me personally, or those in my situation, it wasn't published. I have been nothing but kind and respectful in my posts and replies, and I expect the same of anyone that publishes on my blog. There are several comments of those who don't agree with me, and these respectful comments were respectfully published and replied to. Also, for those who accused me of being a faker and not a natural redhead, I am 100% naturally a redhead! I've never dyed my hair haha!
  • I have been accused of hating missionaries. This is not true at all. Missionaries are wonderful! They are so important for our church. Member missionaries are also important. So are Bishops and Relief Society Presidents, primary teachers and nursery leaders. Everyone has a place in this Gospel! I realize how distinguishing a mission call is. However, there are also things that others do that are distinguishing as well. My only suggestion is to help everyone feel their accomplishments are important. 
  • Not serving a mission does not make anyone inferior. That's all there is to it, really. If you believe that someone is inferior, or less, because they aren't serving a mission, then you are entitled to your opinion. But please don't bash me for expressing mine.
  • I just want less judgment, and more love in the church. I'm not asking anyone to love a sin or a sinner, just extend love to those who may have a different plan. Both options are good options! Both options are Christ-like options. Let's all help everyone feel their prayerful considerations are valued in this church. 
The intent of this post is to help everyone feel welcome in this church. To help others understand what some sisters (and brothers) around you may be feeling. You can choose to be upset about this, but it's true. It's how so many of us feel. 

Thank you for your discussions, your comments, and being willing to listen to what I have to say. I love you all! 

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  1. I kept seeing the post shared by my friends on facebook and thought, "hey, I read that girls' blog every now and then!" haha... anyways, good for you for dealing so well with all of the online trolls who have nothing better to do than take offense, point fingers, and be rude. It's your blog, so you definitely have every right to censor those who are being too... flamboyant.

  2. This post was so amazing! You dealt with this subject with such grace! I would have been crying and so upset if I received negative comments, but you just keep rolling with it! I loved your take on this, I think it's really helpful for people to understand! The world is changing and so do our expectations. I think this brigs such love and understanding. Sorry this post is so choppy, my thoughts are all over. This is awesome, so glad I found your blog! Keep doing what you're doing, you're awesome!

  3. I really appreciated your post. A friend of mine shared it on Facebook as did I after reading it. It was very comforting to know I am not the only one who feels this way. Marrying into a family of all return missionaries, it can be hard at times not to feel left out or isolated in the missionary conversations. I can't say I agreed with every thing you wrote, but the general idea and spirit of it was spot on. You also seem to have handled this criticism much more diplomatically than I would have. From your follow up post it would seem a lot of people have issues with making judgments and being respectful. I also received the answer not to serve a mission, others don't realize how hard that can be. I wanted to serve but the Lord needed me more where I was. I know this subject can be especially hard for young men as well, and for whatever reason a person doesn't serve a mission that is between that person and the Lord. It is never anyone else's place to judge that person. Serving a mission also does not guarantee greatness or heightened spirituality in a person. I dated a lot of RM's who were completely disrespectful, and then a few (like my husband) who were completely amazing. For the record there are many amazing leaders in our church who did not serve missions, so for anyone who wants to hold an RM to a higher standard than the rest of us purely on that title, please take a look at our beloved prophet. FYI, he did not serve a mission. Thank you again for your post, whether others wanted to hear it or not those things needed to be said, and you represented the rest of us beautifully.

  4. I already commented on the original post but I wanted to reiterate my thanks. I too am confident in my decision not to serve based on direction from God. I believe I am doing more important work at home than I could in the mission, because of the unique situation where I work in a close-knit group home helping to raise very special children of God. But even though I am secure in my choice, it is still painful to hear some comments (some unintentionally hurtful, some definitely intentional). For those who believe there is personal growth that can only happen on a mission: a mission is not essential to reaching the potential God gives each one of us. If it was, God would not deny me, the writer of this post, and others the opportunity by telling us to stay home. So there are certainly other experiences to gain that growth and God will give us each the experiences we need. That is all I have to say.


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